NICOLA Sturgeon claimed in her resignation speech that she was "very proud of her achievements". What achievements might these be?

She decided that all our oil and gas fields should be run down and no new ones opened. She banned fracking and new nuclear power stations. She seemed more concerned with the rights of men who say they are women than protecting women from rapists. She damaged Scotland's jewel in the export crown – whisky.

Not content with increasing its minimum price she wants to legislate to stop distilleries advertising their legendary products. (As Burns said, "whisky an freedom gang the gither".) In partnership with the Greens, she will force the drinks industries to spend millions on a complex bottle recycling scheme which experts say will not work.

In two years' time she intends, in partnership with the Greens, that off-grid homes will have to phase out their gas and oil boilers. She forced home owners to spend hundreds of pounds on unnecessary linked smoke alarms.

She plans to reduce our car use by 20% and turn our cities into obstacle courses for motorists, while the pothole crisis grows. She wants us to travel less and stop flying to holiday abroad. If you live on one of Scotland's 93 inhabited islands you are liable to be marooned because of her ferries fiasco. Poverty in Scotland had been declining for years until the SNP took over and then it rose and rose.

Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to be judged on Scotland's education service. So? Education standards have declined to the point where the SNP won't publish comparative OECD data. Indiscipline in schools has soared. During her reign Scots life expectancy decreased, while drugs deaths rose.

Thank goodness she is going and Scots won't suffer another cult of personality any time soon.
William Loneskie, Lauder

This is for the best

SO, Nicola Sturgeon has decided that the time has come for her to quit as Scotland’s First Minister. It may have come as a surprise to many but not to those who have been closely following recent events on the Scottish political scene.

The Gender Recogntion Reform Bill which was recently passed by Holyrood has risen to the top of the political agenda and, like it or not, the majority of Scots are against this controversial piece of legislation, views exacerbated by the case of transgender woman and convicted double rapist Isla Bryson, who was placed initially in a women’s prison. These events have knocked the question of Scottish independence into the long grass and as recent polls have suggested the dial against independence has shifted significantly, with those in favour of remaining in the United Kingdom returning to around the same level as the last referendum in 2014.

In addition, the fact that Ms Sturgeon wants the next General Election to become a de facto referendum is also highly controversial. When asked the question at this morning’s press conference she denied that these recent events played any part in her decision, however it is very hard to believe that they had no influence, especially since it is only a few weeks since she stated that she had “plenty left in the tank” when asked by Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC whether she was still up for the job of First Minister.

In any event today’s announcement will reverberate around the annals of Holyrood and beyond for some time to come and in the words of medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer “all good things come to end”, and if this also means the end of the SNP dream of independence then this is for the best.
Christopher H Jones, Giffnock

A giant of our time

IT was extremely disappointing to hear of the First Minister’s resignation. As we have come to expect, in her resignation speech she was pragmatic, humble and articulate. On reflection it is understandable that she has stepped down from an unprecedented term of office in such a demanding, high-profile role. I suspect such a lengthy term is unlikely to be repeated.

She oversaw the country through an unprecedented pandemic with the minimum of fuss and without any of these dramatic and at times unsavoury incidents witnessed at Westminster.

I have absolutely no doubt that history will confirm that Nicola Sturgeon is the finest United Kingdom politician in a generation. We would probably need to go back to Winston Churchill to find such a giant of our time.

Equally disappointing, but not remotely surprising, is the level of immaturity and rudeness displayed by a number of list MSPs on hearing the news. Ironically, many of them have never known what it is like to win an election, far less the repeat victories experienced by the First Minister.

I am confident that history will show that their contribution to politics and improving the lives of the Scottish people is exactly zilch.

Hopefully the First Minister’s successor will get us out of this unholy, corrupt alliance with all due haste.
Stewart Falconer, Alyth

Service should be acknowledged

I AM sure the country recognises Nicola Sturgeon certainly put in a shift. As the first female First Minister and the longest-serving one, Ms Sturgeon led from the front and carried the country through Covid with distinction and leadership. And as she steps down her popularity ratings are still positive, the highest of all party leaders in the UK, an amazing achievement after holding the post for more than eight years.

During those eight years, Ms Sturgeon has successfully led the SNP to election victories in two Holyrood elections, three Westminster elections, two national council elections, one European election and an EU referendum, a very impressive record and one no other political leader in modern time has matched. So regardless of one's political stance, regardless of past voting and future voting intentions, on this day of shock waves through our political climate, a recognition of Scotland's departing First Minister's achievements and service to country should be acknowledged.
Catriona C Clark, Falkirk

Sturgeon has learnt nothing

SURELY the golden rule of politics or any other life situation is that when it is time to go, do it quietly with dignity and don't linger over it.

Also, do not pat yourself on the back. It is for others to judge you. In other words, have some respect for yourself.

The rambling, self-indulgent "poor me" speech by Nicola Sturgeon was sickening.

Dear me. All those years in politics and she has learnt nothing.
Dorothy Connor, Glasgow

Our future lies in our own hands

THE resignation of our First Minister has given rise to generous tributes from many former political opponents, including much speculation about the possible consequences for the future of the independence campaign.

Labour's Henry McLeish expressed the view that Scotland's best future lies within a reformed UK. The forbidden word Brexit was studiously avoided by optimistic unionist commentators. The simple truth is that there is no way back into the single market and customs union without independence, particularly if Sir Keir Starmer is to be believed, although I do concede that he changes his policies as often as his underwear if there are some votes to be harvested.

The people of Scotland must now realise that our nation's constitutional future lies, as it always has, in their hands rather than with Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP. Scottish nationality – not nationalism – is a reality with which most Scots identify. Very few younger Scots identify their nationality as British.
Willie Maclean, Milngavie

Question for the successor

IN the light of Nicola Sturgeon resigning there is one question that should be asked of any candidate hoping to replace her: “What is a woman?"

A failure to give the correct answer should disqualify anyone standing. It might be a good question to ask other party leaders, they done seem to know either.
Michael Watson, Glasgow

A short memory?

ON today's welcome announcement by Nicola Sturgeon, my immediate assumption was that she now intends spending her time – as do many politicians – writing her memoirs.

This will presumably be a rather short publication as she cannot recall anything from her time in office and apparently kept no notes of any meetings she attended.
Robin McNaught, Bridge of Weir

Read more letters: Give Sturgeon a break. History will judge her well


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